What is care.data?
The NHS is changing and services are being restructured. These reforms will impact upon the way that clinical data are collected and analysed. Under the powers of the Health and Social Care Act 2012(HSCA), the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) can, under certain circumstances, REQUIRE Personal Confidential Data (PCD) from GP practices without seeking patient consent. One of the first initiatives using these new powers is the care.dat service. The service is commissioned by NHS England and will be delivered by the HSCIC. The HSCIC is England’s central authoritative source of health and social care information.
In order to protect your identity only information such as your NHS number, postcode, and Date of Birth, will be used to link your records in a secure system held by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), but not your name.
Information which does not reveal your identity can then be used by others, such as researchers and those planning health services, to make sure the NHS provides the best care possible for everyone.
How your information is used and shared is controlled by law and strict rules are in place to protect your privacy. We need to make sure that you know this is happening and the choices you have.
Why does the NHS want this information?
Information will help to:
- find more effective ways of preventing, treating and managing illnesses
- guide local decisions about changes that are needed to respond to the needs of local patients
- support public health by anticipating risks of particular diseases and conditions, and help us to take action to prevent problems
- improve the public’s understanding of the outcomes of care, giving them confidence in health and care services
- guide decisions about how to manage NHS resources so that they can best support the treatment and management of illness for the benefit of patients
What choice do I have?
If you do not want information that identifies you from being shared outside your GP practice, talk to a member of staff at the practice. A form needs to be filled-in (PTO). They will make a note of this in your medical record. This will prevent your information being used other than where necessary by law, such as in case of a public health emergency. You will also be able to restrict the use of information held by other places you receive care from. However, this will not affect the care you receive.
Further information, including a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) please go to the website at: www.england.nhs.uk/caredata or www.hscic.gov.uk.
Do I need to do anything?
If you are happy for your information to be shared you do not need to do anything. There is no form to fill in and nothing to sign and you can change your mind at any time.
If you want to opt out please complete the form and post or hand it in to the Reception Team. Care data opt out form